| || Notes for Isabella Barber:|
[Fiser, Mary Ferguson, Wichita, Kansas, <email@example.com>]
Submitted by Anne Renshaw:
I have a story I found in a book called A Goodly Heritage about James Ferguson, the Tory who died at Williamson's.Isabella Barber was wooed and won by Samuel Ferguson before the fall of Charleston and the spread of the war to the upcountry. His brothers, rampant royalists, were with the royal forces at Rocky Mount, James having a colonel's commission. Samuel and his young bride often discussed the subject of war and the difference of opinion between his brothers, Joseph and James and his own. Samuel was never strong in argument, whereas Isabella was firmly indoctrinated in the Scriptures and the political creed of her people. She stood firmly on the side of freedom.
When Col. Ferguson was preparing to accompany Capt. Huck on his expedition, he left Rocky Mount one morning dressed in full and resplendent uniform, mounted on a handsome charger, and with the colors of Old England flying. Thinking to impress his sister-in-law to such an extent that she would no longer detain her husband from a chance of like splendor, he stopped by the Barber house. Isabella was within hearing distance while the Colonel was trying to persueade her husband to join him. She could not restrain her declaration. "I am a rebel!" she said proudly, glorying in the name. "My brothers are rebels, and the dog Trip is a rebel too. Now, James, I had rather see you with a sheep on your back than turned out in all those fine clothes! Above all, I am told you have our minister chained by the foot like a felon! Rebel and be free! that is my creed!"
Then turning to her husband, "We have often talked it over, Samuel," she said, "and you could never justify their unhallowed practices, coming here to make slaves of us who would die first, and plundering, stealing cows and the like. Now, in the presence of the British army I tell you, if you go with them you may stay with them, for I am no longer your wife!"
Samuel was unable to withstand this determination of his beloved Isabella,
so requested his brother to excuse his going at this time, to report him a true subject of the king who would do all he could at home to serve His Majesty and to try to turn the whole clan of Covenanters about.Col. Ferguson was killed in the action at Williamson's and his forces, including two other brothers, scattered and hid in the woods. The victory proved of advantage to the wives and widows of Rocky Creek. Samuel Ferguson, when he heard of the result of the expedition, the Colonel's death and the miserable situation of remaining brothers, never looked on the bonny face of Isabella without a feeling of thankfulness that he had escaped a similar fate. Isabella exhorted him to gain the confidence of their neighbors by joining her in deeds of kindness to the defenseless and destitute, and thus deserve their good offices in return. By their joint exertions the distresses of the neighborhood were much relieved, and his brothers found advantage in adopting the same course. At the close of the war, the Ferguson brothers were almost the only loyalists permitted to remain in Chester District.